Contemporary Classical Music

Classical Music Specialist, Kate Rockstrom, reveals some recently-released recordings that demonstrate why you shouldn’t be afraid to try music that comes under the label, ‘contemporary’.


My current favourite recording is the re-composing of Vivaldi’s Four Season by Max Richter. I’ve never heard anything quite like it and have so far managed to convert more than one of my colleagues, some who have later admitted to having this recording on repeat at home. At times ethereal and at other times exciting, this musician will prove that that sometimes the best thing for an old favourite is to view it through a new lens.

Soon to topple the Richter as my current favourite is the new album from Daniel Hope, Spheres. This blend of well-known composers with more contemporary and lesser-known ones is simply stunning. All the works are intended to give you inspiration and calm you at the same time.

If you are a fan of movies, specifically of Local Hero and Catch Me If You Can, this album should have you quite excited. With classic film scores performed alongside the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Amy Dickson’s Saxophone Concertos will sweep you away.

For something also film related but more experimental, take a look at the new DVD from the Australian Chamber Orchestra The Reef. The beautiful imagery combined with a mixture of contemporary music along with Bach and Beethoven is a work of art.

Finally, Andrew Ford is not only known for his concise and interesting treaties on classical music, but also for his highly fascinating compositions. His most recent release, Learning to Howl , is a combination of works, each completely different from the other even while keeping that particular frission original to Ford’s music. ‘Elegy in a Country Graveyard’ combines spoken word with natural sounds to give you an amazingly evocative aural picture of a graveyard in Robertson NSW.


Kate Rockstrom is a Classical Music Specialist.